Derby County manager Frank Lampard says his side are fully focused on the task ahead as they look to hold on to sixth place in the Championship and book themselves a playoff date, the club’s official website report.
The Rams currently lie in sixth place following their 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Monday. Rivals Bristol City and Middlesbrough lost on the same day, allowing Derby to leapfrog them.
With just three games remaining, a place in the playoffs is in Derby’s hands and the pressure is on.
This weekend, Frank Lampard’s side travel to fellow playoff challengers Bristol City. A win would put Derby on the verge of a top six spot, but likewise Bristol City have the chance to move ahead.
Talking to the club’s official website, Lampard says his focus is on preparation for the games ahead as he implores his side to be both physically and mentally ready for the challenge.
We have to remain calm and not get over excited with the fact we are in the top six in how we work and how we focus. There is lots of work to be done. In terms of how we prepare, it’s not much different. We are not silly. We know the importance of the game, but we have to prepare, we have to work, we have to be mentally ready, for not just this game, but the last three.
Derby County’s challenging end to the season:
Derby and Bristol City played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Pride Park. Both teams have been inconsistent, finding great form at times while struggling in games you’d expect them to win.
The Rams follow up their game at Ashton Gate with a trip to Swansea City next week. The game in Wales could have further significance as Swansea still have an outside shot of the top six. They are currently five points adrift of the playoff positions and boast a seven-game winning run at the Liberty Stadium.
Fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion are Derby’s final opponents of the season. The Baggies may end up choosing to rest players for that game as their playoff spot is already secured. Either way, it will be a challenge and completes a tough end of the season for Lampard’s men.